The Church Dinner 

Recently we had a dinner at our church, and I was volunteered to be part of the kitchen crew. The thing I love about church dinners is that something amusing always happens. It is part of the nature of the situation. And we were not disappointed on this occasion.

My source of entertainment this time was a visiting elderly lady of peculiar appearance — bright blue spectacles, with blue tassels and beads hanging from the bows. While she was going through the food line, she commented that she couldn’t eat the salad because it had Italian dressing on it, and ohhh, she couldn’t eat dressing! One of the serving ladies offered to bring her some plain lettuce, but she wouldn’t have it brought–she had to march into the kitchen to get it.

A few minutes later, I happened back into the kitchen, smack dab into the middle of an extremely graphic monologue this woman was slathering all over Daisy Miller about why she couldn’t eat the salad with the dressing on it. Daisy is an extremely elegant, lady-like person, and she was politely listening and nodding, with a little smile on her very frozen face. If I could have read her thoughts they probably would have gone something like this: “Do … not … show … emotion. … Look noncommittal. … Do … not … look … grossed … out. … Do … not … look … embarrassed. … Oohh my! What can she be thinking??!! … Try … to … look … pleasant. … Focus … focus … focus ….”

It had a lot to do with having a barium test and the hospital people forgetting to prescribe an enema first…and what happened as a result. And how she has to be very picky, picky, picky about what she eats ever since — two years later. OOHHH MY!!!

I waited until she had left the room and was out of earshot, then burst out laughing. “Some people will just tell you anything, won’t they?!!” I chortled. Daisy didn’t say anything. She was still trying to process — or maybe erase her memory banks, I think. I, however, will cherish this little episode forever in my memory banks, because my humor is a little sick, and I love people’s quirks.

Later on, the lady came back into the kitchen. She needed milk–2% milk–in her coffee, couldn’t use creamer, you know (because of her condition), and did we have any 2%? We looked in the fridge. Ah yes, there was a gallon of milk in there.

(Now, you have to understand about the church fridge. It is a scary place. All sorts of forgotten items were in there. Half-eaten this, and half-eaten that, some from pre-Noahic days, I think. Take-out pizza–nobody dared lift the lid of the box to find out what was residing there. No one ever seems to know who put these questionable items in the fridge, why they didn’t finish them up, or how many years ago they were abandoned.)

Mabel Cory expressed doubts about the milk and said we would look at the date. June 30. This was July 11. The lady insisted, “Oh, I’ll just taste it, and if it’s OK, I can put it in my coffee.” Mabel was horrified and protested that it was too old by now. “Oh, you can’t believe the dates on those jugs!!! You got to taste it to tell! It’s probably fine.” She proceeded to pour a cup, taste it, and smack loudly several times. Smack, smack, smack! “It’s good! I’ll take it!” (More laughter from yours truly after she left the kitchen. Why can’t I control my funny bone? Nobody else seemed to think she was nearly as funny as I did, except my ten-year-old daughter, Beebee–only she informed me on the way home that the old lady wasn’t so much funny as SCARY.)

So, that was how I spent last Friday. I am laughing still. I’ll bet you’re all just envious, now aren’t you?

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